The economic development plan to keep IGT and over 1,000 workers here in Rhode Island is vitally important to continuing the progress our state has made building a technology and innovation economy. I want to tell my community the story of how GTECH, and later IGT, helped fuel and build a foundation for my company and many others.
The story of my family-owned small business and its incredible growth was directly tied to IGT’s rise. Twenty-nine years ago, I launched a small technology start up, Electro Networks, a division of Electro Standard Labs, with just two people. It began when GTECH gave us a chance to provide wiring services on a small project in one of their facilities.
We hit the mark and hit the mark well. The one-time opportunity given to us by GTECH led to more projects with even greater responsibility and scope. We delivered high quality solutions to GTECH, which created excitement for future work. GTECH always came through for our company and our employees. Eventually, we wired six buildings throughout the state including the new world headquarters in Providence along with data centers across the country.
Currently, we have 50 employees and IGT is a significant client. We continue to work for this Rhode Island economic powerhouse in other states and even in other countries. We have gained momentum because of our relationship with IGT which translates to our need to hire additional well paid staff like sales teams, project managers, material handlers and installation technicians.
The bottom line is we grew as IGT grew. Every step of the way our IGT family gave my family business the opportunity to succeed.
We’re proud to be a Rhode Island data and tech company. We continue to be the leader in the field and have expanded our R&D and consulting focus on renewable energy and consult for the U.S. Navy, while building out a biotech practice right here in Western Cranston.
This all was possible because of our work with IGT. A Rhode Island start up success story that paid it forward to my company. We know IGT generates approximately $330 million of economic activity in Rhode Island each year. Electro Standards is just one example of impact IGT has on job creation in Rhode Island.
If IGT were to leave our state it would mean the loss of thousands of jobs from small businesses in nearly every community in our state. That’s why Governor Raimondo and legislative leaders have worked so hard to craft an economic development proposal that keeps the state’s largest technology company here, while providing millions in contracts for local small businesses.
I look forward to fair and transparent hearings in the State House to prove this is in the best interest of the taxpayers. I will be there to tell my story when the hearings occur.
The author is chief operations officer for Electro Standards Laboratories in Cranston.